My sister is not caring for her son properly. Family is talking having him removed from the home. Worried/ need advice.

Liann - posted on 07/17/2012 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My sister, who is 30, has a 9 year old son that is really not being nurtured at home. It's a very long story but I will summarize it as best I can. My nephew gets shipped away every summer to stay with us. Last summer my sister was working evenings and her boyfriend was working mornings so there was no real reason why my nephew couldn't be at home. This summer she unexpectedly quit her job so she's at home all day, yet her son is still here. Every time we see him after he's been at home he's covered in ring worm, his nails are freakishly long, and this most recent time he was infested with lice. After about a week here we get his ring worm cleared up and closely monitor it for the remainder of his stay to make sure there are no major outbreaks.
One of my biggest worries is my nephews mental state. He's been showing signs of OCD for a couple years now and it only continues to intensify. He's obsessive over germs. He doesn't let his food touch other types of food, and even wants a clean fork to eat each food with. Every time he returns to his cup of drink he asks to make sure no one has drank from his cup because he doesn't want their germs. He's EXTREMELY possessive of all his toys, even broken ones. He even goes as far as removing broken toys that have been thrown away from the trash because he wants to keep them. He sleeps with some 10 stuffed animals every night and has to count them before he goes to sleep and when he wakes up in the morning as he stashes them away inside his pillow case. We've even seen him wake up at night and count them before falling back to sleep. Most recently he's been mimicking the behavior of my 20 month old son and carrying his blanket with him everywhere and acting like a baby. He clings to adults in the household when doing this and acts upset (in a baby like fashion) when it's time to leave that adult alone. Particularly my mother or my aunt (when she's around). we've talking to my sister several times about these things and she agrees that he needs to see a counselor, but won't get him seen by anyone. This has been probably 2 years that we've been trying to get him seen by someone.
My nephew is being held back in school this year to repeat third grade. He was almost held back last year but got into 3rd grade by the skin of his teeth. The teachers kept stressing that he is not improving in school and my sister would really have to work with him one on one to catch him up. She hasn't. She wasn't doing it when he was in second grade, or third grade. He's not thriving at all in school and she isn't trying to help him.
On to the house. The living room and my nephews bedroom are knee deep buried in junk. She's been claiming for the past two months that she would clean up his room and get the house cleaned up but no progress has been made. He has no discipline at home and claims he needs to watch TV to sleep so he sleeps on the couch amongst all the junk so he can watch TV. Here we turn the TV off before bed and he sleeps fine. My sister's solution to this is she wants to put the whole entertainment center in his room so he can play with his toys, video games, ect., and watch tv in bed to his hearts delight in his teeny tiny little room. To her this will teach him to sleep in his bed AND keep his mess out of the living room.
I visited her house recently. Her boyfriend smoked pot in their bedroom many times a day. His supplies are laid out in plain sight on a counter in their room. My sister would sleep all day, get up, and disappear to her friends house for several hours before showing back up. I kept the kids fed and supervised and made sure dinner got started in her absence for the 3 days I was there. This was supposed to be time for my nephew to visit his mom and she was hardly there.
My uncle and myself, with other family members are planning to take measures to not have him go back home at the end of the summer. I think she will let him go fairly easy. I'm worried about losing my sister forever. I question myself and think "Am I being too judgmental?" My uncle is certified in foster care and may take him until my sister gets her act straight, but there's a good chance he'll wind up here. I already watch my kids and my sister's in the afternoons and I'm afraid I won't be up to the task of helping my nephew heal. Also I'm worried about the amount of one on one help he'll need to catch up in school. I'm just terrified all around. Does anyone have any advice or encouragement to offer on this matter?

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Louise - posted on 07/17/2012

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I think the whole family needs to be involved here. If the whole family feel that this is the best option to do then talk to your sister about it. Tell her all your worries and tell her you love her dearly but you are not going to sit by and let this little lad suffer because she is failing as a parent. Watch her reaction if she is upset tell her you will help her with her son it does not have to come to that but she has to try much harder and put him first. The boyfriend has to go if he is taking drugs that is a big no no!

If she is hostile to your offer of help then make that call and get welfare involved. If you are willing to take the lad then you understand what he needs and that it is a lot of work. This is no quick job here, you are going to peel back many layers of mental and physical abuse here. You will need the help of outside agencies to straighten this little lad out.

Tina - posted on 07/19/2012

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You're doing alot for him already. So it would probably be a good thing that if it must come to this that he's with someone familiar. I myself was very much like this boy when I moved from dad's to mums. Only I was very secretive about the OCD. I tried not to get noticed. It has gotten better over time. But councelling would be ideal. I do really feel for this kid. My mum didn't have much time for me. She has many other kids and made empty promises too. I had to come to terms with the fact I wasn't really wanted. Well that's how I felt. Maybe you need to explain to him. His mum loves him but she's just not well or something. It would be best to be taken out of that environment and if she wants to see him. She needs to make the effort. Because going back and forth will just make things worse for him mentally. He needs some sort of stability so he can focus on his wellness.

Samantha - posted on 07/20/2012

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i think she must be on hard drugs. they make u heartless and they always come first, but the user will lie through their teeth. get her a drug test online or from a chemist but make sure u watch her do the test cause most users use someone elses urine or do other tricks so make sure u watch her go. and no warnins that your bringing a test over cause it can take 3 days to be out of her systom. the kids not safe

Tracie - posted on 07/18/2012

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I'm so sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like your sister and your nephew both need serious help. I'm so glad that the whole family is pulling together to help your nephew. He is going to need all the love and support he can get.

You are in a position to make a HUGE difference in his life. Please do not give up on him. He is responding to the chaos in his life. Once you can give him stability and proper care, it should go a long way toward improving the quality of his life. He will likely need to see a therapist as well. Who knows what he's been witness to at home. :-(

Ideally, the family would be able to help your sister as well. The best scenario would be for her to get cleaned up so she can raise him herself. Sounds like she may be dealing with drug addiction, hoarding, depression or some combination thereof. Fix the root of the problem and that will go along way toward a lasting solution for everyone.

You are absolutely doing the right thing by taking temporary custody of your nephew. Please don't doubt that for a moment. Best of luck to you and your wonderful, caring family. Your nephew is so lucky to have you!!

Samantha - posted on 07/17/2012

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I just want to encourage you. You are doing the right thing. If he is showing signs of needing a counselor and nothing is being done. That is neglect. He seems like he wants attention of adults and would probably thrive where he is getting proper rules and boundaries and attention. You would be surprised how much a child can thrive when in the correct environment. Your sister to me (not trying to judge her by any means) from you say seems to not be concerned about being a mommy right now. It sounds like a place where he is going to thrive is with your family away from your sister.

Your sister may need to have her son removed to realize it is all very important to listen to his needs and to be his mom. However some people never learn. I hope she does. I hope this would not make you loose her as a sister, but your nephew needs your family more than ever right now it seems. I am sorry. Do what needs to be done.

I do not know if you are a Christian or not, but if you are take it to God and if not, than do what needs to be done.

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User - posted on 02/21/2014

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This Is such an ironic story to my own situation. Your correct the behavior ur describing is OCD. His developed from abandonment issues. Same thing with my nephew. Your story is identical to mine right down to the ringworm. How is your sisters mental status, has she had any major trama in her life, she acting out of character?? What her actions are being caused by has got to be determined first if u truly want to help her son and her. You've got to step back remove yourself emotionally and be able to view this situation through neutral eyes. There will in lie all the awnsers you are surching for. If you'd like I can 100% guide u through this cause I've been living this same nightmare. koriegv@gmail.com

Liann - posted on 09/11/2012

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I've been meaning to update on this situation for a while now. The words of encouragement and hope have been wonderful. I'm not feeling very hopeful for the situation right now. I wrote an update after we last confronted my sister a while back but for some reason it failed to post. At the end of July my mother and I drove to my sister's house and surprised her. We took her out for lunch, where my uncle met us. After lunch my mother opened up the conversation expressing our concerns for her. After a long, emotional talk, where my sister revealed just how depressed (to a point of not being functional) she was, my sister agreed that it would probably be best for my nephew to stay at my uncle's house for a time. My uncle and aunt have the time and resources to help him really thrive. We went over to my uncle's house, talked some more, tried to work out some legal issues (my nephew's father), and showed my sister what would become my nephew's room. At the end of the day we hugged and parted ways on what seemed to be good terms.

Over the next week my uncle spoke with social services several times about what needed to be done and was taking steps to tend to custody matters. My nephew was still staying with us at the time. That Friday night while we were all outside swimming in the pool my sister showed up with her bf and took my nephew home. Powerless to stop her, and not wanting to alarm my nephew by creating a scene, she was able to slip away quietly with him.

Later she made a plea with my mother and uncle to give her another shot at getting her act together. We were all doubtful that she would pull through but we were encouraging none the less. My uncle set up some conditions (counseling and such was a requirement) that she needed to fulfill in order to prevent us taking further action. He dropped in regularly to monitor things and ensure that my nephew was being taken care of.

On August 30 , my mother's birthday, we were expecting my sister to come for the weekend. We tried several times in the morning to reach her and find out when she'd be arriving, with no success. Finally in the late afternoon we were able to reach her, only to find out she wasn't even close to leaving home yet. After many more hours (and a trip to a "friends' to get " gas money", she shows up at 1AM.

She was up ALL night and in the morning was cleaning like a madwoman. Normally she comes here and sleeps all day. She was spending 45 min to an hour in the bathroom several times during the morning. My younger sister and I left early in the morning to do a yard sale and while we were away she revealed me that she could hear a lighter clicking in the bathroom during one of these hour long visits to our bathroom.

So, obviously there was drug use going on. I called my uncle, my aunt, talked to my dad and my mom. Mom shut me out, but others decided to take action and the next day we approached her together after my aunt found her drug kit in her pocketbook. She denies it. She claims she doesn't do it any more and still will not admit anything.

Now we've hit a road block. She won't get help. We can't force her. She won't surrender my nephew willingly. Conditions at home are sadly, not bad enough for SS to take my nephew out of the home. Now, it seems, all I can do is wait. Wait for things to get so bad for my nephew that we can have him removed. Fortunately, we've reached out to my sister's bf who says he's been taking care of my nephew and making sure he gets fed while my sister is off getting high somewhere. I don't know what else I can do except hope, and pray that my nephew comes out of this without permanent damage.

HappyMommy - posted on 08/28/2012

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I encourage you too, you are a great aunt.. I think he has OCD because he has seen so much dirt and messiness in his life that he acts that way...don't diagnose him yet I think him staying with u and u setting an example should at least help with his behavior ..good luck let me know if I can help ...and please don't let him go back to that home.

Blossom - posted on 08/20/2012

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If your uncle is certified foster care, can he help lead you to resources for families with children in your nephews situation. I would make a phone call to your states child welfare office or even his school or pediatrician. They may have information available on where to go for help for your nephew. Your sister sounds like she may be depressed or on drugs. I feel for your family. Taking her son away may eliminate some problems for him, but it won't really solve anything unless he gets the counseling and love and support he really needs. You may have to get your sister some help as well.

Brandy - posted on 08/19/2012

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Your doing the right thing by getting involved, even though deep down you really just wish for some parents to grow up and realize what's truly important, it sounds like he is autistic, I work one on one with kids like this, behaviors sound just like them, what's important is the kids first, if you do get him go over what is to be expected, rules, boundarys etc you can even do a token chart to work for something special, make it easy at first so he doesn't get discouraged then as time goes by up it lil by lil, I wish you all the luck with your family and hope he gets the help he needs to be healthy and happy boy

Rose - posted on 08/14/2012

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You are concerned for the well being of your nephew. Knowing what is going on in the house and not doing anything for him would be worse off. Maybe she will think you are being judgmental but who cares? Sometimes you have to take one for the team. He is still young enough to be able to help him I think. I tried taking my niece in when she was about 11. Her mom was on drugs and couldn't take care of her. She was already used to living the lifestyle of not being around her mom and doing what she wanted. She didn't like the structure and the discipline. She ended up moving back with her mom because she wanted to go back to it. Her mom wanted her back too so there wasn't anything we could do about it. I say get custody of him now while you can before its too late. My niece is now 13 and not doing well in life but there isn't anything we can do to help it. All we can say is that we tried.

Amie - posted on 08/11/2012

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It sounds like he has developed somethingffarr worse then ocd and your sister is not being a parentt at all. I would fight for him. Any chance you give him is better then the one he has now. All those problems are cases of neglect and would be taken very serious by child serviced. You sister is an adult and he is a child. Someone has to be the hero here and help this innocent boy. Your doing a great job by helping out but it needs to be permenet as there has obviously been so much damage done already.

Kathia - posted on 08/10/2012

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if your sister isnt working but he still is at your house take it to court tell your sister you want to help her explain to her in the best way possible that the family wants whats best for him.

Shannalitisha - posted on 07/27/2012

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Well i must say from my point of view . I have a cousin like that and it was the same thing that the family wanted to step in an take away. But they have to understand that it might not best for the child. Instead what your family or you can do is see if she will go to parenting classes. And sounds like she one babies him to the point where she doenst have to deal with him. So that just means since he's a only child it just makes it worst. And if you and your family do decide to take him your just giving her the easy street out. It just might be that she wasnt and doesnt want the responsability of being a mother and just wants to live her life freely. But she has to understand that once you give birth to a child (and being that he is nine and not a baby) that she can't just keep living her life free. And as far as your nephew goes he will grow out of it real quick when he knows that he cant do what he wants to do . You can also look into a tss for him to. That may help him with school. I hoped this helped you.

Tia - posted on 07/23/2012

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When I started reading this I thought oh no someone taking it too far wanting to take a child away from his mother but as I read on I realised I would do the same thing in your situation, maybe even the threat of having him removed would force her to clean up her act and start taking care of him. I am afraid it does seem someone needs to stand up for him. I hope everything gets better and that you come to a decision. You might loose your sister but at the same time you will be saving her son, which is blood too. Don't be too hard on yourself a lot of woman would do the same thing.

Anna - posted on 07/22/2012

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Call CPS! Contrary to popular belief, their goal is not to take kids away. It sounds like your sister needs a lot of help, & they will help her. They have access to services to help her learn skills to keep the home clean & organized, get her &/or boyfriend into drug treatment, get you nephew mental health care, and so on. You can even call anonymously, or you can identify yourself as a possible care provider. Your sister sounds like a lot of my clients, & I can tell you that with the right help & motivation, many parents in this situation are able to turn it around. Good luck!

Mandee - posted on 07/22/2012

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We called DCFS on a family member and as a result, she has been in our care ever since. If you have already had a discussion with the family member, I honestly think you already know what you need to do. It doesn't make it easier, but ask yourself if you don't speak up and something happens to the child will you have regretted staying silent.

Kristi - posted on 07/22/2012

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Any update on your sisters intervention? I hope you can get through to her. If not than you really need to get the police and CPS involved. I know you love her but you have to do what's right for your nephew. If she cleans up her life then great. But if not someone needs to take your nephew. You or your aunt and uncle would be best, someone he already knows. Good Luck!!

Tiffany - posted on 07/21/2012

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It will be alot of work but he needs help and he deserves to be catted for in the right way. I'm sure the state can help with funding for counselors and tutors. I know my daughters school offers free tutoring for lower income families.even if you aren't lower income i'm sure they would help out. Or maybe just talk to his teacher this year in sure of you told his story they would help him and at least tutor once a week. There are many programs on TV that can help too. One is called super why..very educational and there are more on your PBS channel. From experience with my mother sister, uncle and friends of mines sister it sounds to me like your sister is on drugs and or depressed. I know how much you want to help her but she can only be helped of she wants it so keep that in mind. Maybe after a few months after living with you hell seehe's loved and taken care of and knowing he doesn't have to go back to the hell hole hell start to mend and hey better.good luck to you and your put nephew. You are doing am amazing thing and I know you're scared but you'll figure it out along the way.

JoJo - posted on 07/20/2012

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hun ik u dont want to hear it but he needs to get takin out of the situation the reason y he is so ocd and possive is cuz his mom lets him play his games and toys or what not instead of giving him the attenion he needs and wants, if the bf is smoking pot inthe next room the boy could be getting a contact high wich is common for pple that are around but dont smoke with the pple who are smoking but if they took a drug test they would fail it

hint kids are messy even if she moved the tv to his room there still would be a mess

Lisa - posted on 07/20/2012

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Im going to warn you that often even the crappiest parent will fight tooth and nail for their kids. The best bet is to anon call the police about drug use in the house and have them go over to check it out. THAT would be the only thing in what you listed that would get CPS involved. Because the rest of the stuff while abusive technically, is not considered so in the state of the court system. And you also have to realize that even if she lost custody from drugs being found in the house that it would be temporary, and if she found out it was you all that did it you would be cut out of this little boys life.

Lisa - posted on 07/20/2012

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Im going to warn you that often even the crappiest parent will fight tooth and nail for their kids. The best bet is to anon call the police about drug use in the house and have them go over to check it out. THAT would be the only thing in what you listed that would get CPS involved. Because the rest of the stuff while abusive technically, is not considered so in the state of the court system. And you also have to realize that even if she lost custody from drugs being found in the house that it would be temporary, and if she found out it was you all that did it you would be cut out of this little boys life.

Rosa - posted on 07/19/2012

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I just want to say good luck. My older sister has been the same way. She would sleep all day, let her oldest who is 10 now take care of the other two who are 3 and 5. She would go to work and leave the kids with my mom, she didn't mind watching them but she would go out to drink after work instead of picking the kids up then would come pick them up at 3 am when they were all sleeping. I was about to take them away from her at one point because her second child was constantly sick and I would tell her what it was and that she needed to take her to the doctors but she would wait till she was horribly sick. Now she has tubes in her ears from the constant infections that went untreated or mistreated by her, she also has sleep apnea which is scary. She moved to the other side of the country so it's hard to see how the kids are being taken care of. I would not go into her house bbecause it was so disgusting. It reaked of urine because she would let the kids walk around the house without a diaper and if the boy peed on the floor she would just laugh about it. Sometimes it me that my mom tells me that my little niece (5) would call her sometimes late at night and say "nana, mommy is sleeping and wont wake up" I would get goosebumps cuz who knows what could happen if she's such a heavy sleeper. A few years ago the oldest I believe she was 3 or 4 almost burntd down my dads apartment because she was playing with matches while my sister was sleeping. And when she told us this story she just laughed it off. It terrifying to see someone close to you not take responsibility over such a vulnerable child. I hope that my sister grows up ( our sisters I should say) and realize what a blessing it is to have our children in our lives. I have two girls myself and I couldn't think of myseld not taking care of them. My oldest lives with her dad and it drives me nuts when she comes home on the weekends with long fingernails or like today I picked her up around dinner time and she tells me that she hasn't had lunch yet and that her dad fed her pizza for breakfast. But the child custody says he has her so I will just wait it out for now. Again Good luck and hope your sister and your nephew get the help they both need. Also, as a side note just want to say, my mom adopted my youngest brother when he was just 3 days old and he has a way better life than living with his drunken drugged up mom who now has aids.(he's almost 18 now and gonna graduate high school soon he also has an IEP program to help him since he started school)

Liann - posted on 07/19/2012

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Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have to admit that every time I start reading these comments I start to tear up, and it's because the real gravity of the situation has set in as my family and I work on an intervention plan. I think our plan thus far is that we will approach my sister about her problems, and lack of parenting and ask for her to release my nephew to a member of the family willingly while she gets help for her issues. We are already going to have a set of goals for her to accomplish in order for us to willingly surrender him back to her custody. Knowing how she's acted lately we think she will probably cry and her pride will be hurt and such, but inevitably she'll willingly give him up. I hope this will give her time to heal herself and build herself up into the best mother she can be for him, but I honestly fear she will do nothing at all to change and that this could be permanent. If she is unwilling we are prepared to involve social services.
My heart is breaking over my sister's struggles, because we have always been close and loving to each other. I'm also angry at her for placing herself before her child. She does suffer from anxiety and depression, but not seeking professional help for herself, along with her refusal to work to improve her quality of life so she can be happier, I believe, has led to her seeking other releases from her problems. I want to help her, but I've given her all the advice I can give and really she has to help herself.
My sister may be planning to come get my nephew as soon as next week so I'm really pushing my family to pull together to do this quickly so he doesn't have to go back there. Sadly he misses his home that is by no means a normal or healthy environment for a child and really wants to go home.
I'll update on how the intervention goes.
Again, thanks you guys.

Hureen - posted on 07/19/2012

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& dnt care if ur relation go bad with ur sister, she can't be changed much . Ur nephew has to become a responsible citizen and has to spend his life if he is not given proper time he may become a spoiled brat...

Hureen - posted on 07/19/2012

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Dear Liann, i loved it how much concerned u r abt.ur nephew...Thankyou for thinking about ur inncocent nephew

Liann, ur nephew NEEDS TIME and ATTENTION

if your sis can't take care of her own child, I suggest u to take ur nephew CUSTODY. As he is ur blood relation, the attention n love a blood relation can give cannot be give by a strange or a 3rd person.

I am sad to hear how much miserable life ur nephew is living, pls.make him play with childern of his age, find friends for him. concentrate on his education.

about lice, ring worm i am astonished, what he has done to deserve this? he is a innocent soul. Adopt him please & give him Love. Else he may grow up as a responsible citizen & it may lead to criminal mind.

Taylor - posted on 07/18/2012

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If you are comfortable with the idea, then you need to get child protective services involved and step up from the beginning as willing to take care of him for awhile. He is not in a mentally stable, safe supportive environment. I know if I were In Your situation, I would start immediately.

Of course, your sister will hate your guts, because even parents who do not want their children will fight to keep them. It's a pride issue. She does not care for him well at all, so she does not seem to want him.

My sister in law was similar; drugs were involved in her case. Her two older children are being cared for by their father now, and her youngest was adopted by our step sister who never had children. They are so much better off. Happy, healthy, and finally in a position to succeed in life.
Their mother gave up her fight for them quickly and had another baby instead.

Anyway, it would be a long and painful process, but your nephew would be cared for and get the help he needs. If you or another family member were not willing to take him, he could also go into foster care and be adopted, which could turn out very well or very badly.

You just need to weigh your options and decide if you can and will do it. I hope whatever happens is what is best for your nephew.

[deleted account]

I think you are doing the right thing 100%. I don't have any advice on your nephew, because I haven't been there. But I DO have to say, because I have been there, that it sounds like your disappearing sister is likely on drugs. When I was on meth (I have been clean for over five years now), I was embarrassed and ashamed and didn't want to be around anyone that loved me. Before I even got to the end of your story where you made the possible suggestion, I was thinking to myself that she was disappearing for the same reason. It may be a root cause of all the problems, including, what sounds like hoarding. I am so sorry you have to pick up the pieces, but you are doing a tremendous thing for your nephew and I think you sound like a loving and intelligent woman who can do anything that needs doing.

Samantha - posted on 07/17/2012

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Cherish is right.
You can request testing for an IEP. The school may fight it, but keep being persistent.

He needs you all now more than ever. She is also right with he probably misses the familiarity of home and he knows as "normal" which in all honesty is not normal. He needs a stable environment with rules, consequences, love, understanding, and where he can feel he is in control. Part of his OCD tendencies are probably his need to feel in control of a situation. His way to be in control is to count things or to be reassured that he is staying away from germs.

I hope you get the encouragement you need through this, and remember its whats best for him, and what need to be done.

Cherish - posted on 07/17/2012

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Liann-
I agree that keeping him is probably best for him.When he cries to go home you can tell him his mom is not ready for him yet and she is getting help so she can be the best mom she can be(even if you think that is not true)
When he starts school you can request a IEP and they can put things in place to help him catch up.
He might be crying to go home because he misses his mom and because his house is more "fun",being no rules,I think tho that if you give it time,he will adjust.
The book "the explosive child" is very helpful at dealing with difficult behaviors.If you do get custody of him you can take him to a developmental pediatrician to address his issues and then start therapy for him.
Do not worry about ruining your relationship w/your sister.She will come around when she is ready and see that you only did it because you love your nephew,she will probably be grateful for what you have done.If she never comes around,then honestly it is not your problem.She might have some kind of mental illness herself,and or a drug problem,and usually with out help it often spirals out of control,and your nephew does not need to hit rock bottom along with her if and when she does.

Liann - posted on 07/17/2012

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Thanks you guys. Already my younger sister, my uncle, my dad, and my aunt are on the same page. My mom has been in denial of the problem and when I try to talk to her about it she just changes the subject or walks away. My uncle is going to help me there and take the three hour trip to come here and talk to my mom in person. She will listen to him. My uncle and his wife are wonderful people who have been trying to adopt a young child for over a year now. They would be a wonderful loving family close to my sister, but the downside is it may put their plans of adoption on hold for a while.
We've already discussed getting professional help with helping him heal. Right now I'm getting help with my daughter. We have been struggling to adjust to my husband having to live in another country until he can get a visa to come back. Meanwhile I have our two children to raise on my own. I am learning how to help my daughter thrive with techniques for building self-esteem and encouraging positive behaviors. I'm already trying to implement these things with my nephew while he is here.
It really is heart wrenching to see how badly he wants to go home. He calls his mom all the time and many times she doesn't answer the phone. He cries over wanting to go home but I know he won't go back to a healthy environment. I'm really concerned that my sister's unexplained disappearances while I was there were drug related. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of one of my sisters doing drugs. :(

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